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Kia takes you behind the scenes in the making of the new Picanto TV ad

Posted: August 30, 2011 at 10:19 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Kia fans all over South Africa and the social space would have seen the innovative new television commercial for the all-new AWESOME Picanto. Many people have expressed their appreciation for this advert which seems very different to anything else on television. To give you more insight into this advert Kia Motors South Africa had an interview with our advertising agency Singh&Sons to get you the exclusive behind-the-scenes scoop on the ad.

What inspired the concept for the advert?

Ray (CEO of Kia Motors South Africa) threatened to fire us unless we came up with something brilliant.

Just kidding… Kinda.

How did you go about actualising the concept?

The first step was to approach directors and production houses we wanted to work with and who we thought would provide an interesting interpretation of the concept.

The directors then provided a treatment – basically how they thought the ad should be shot. The treatments turned out to be quite different from each other and we chose to go with a relatively young director called Robin Goode, who works for a production house called Giant. Giant and Singh&Sons then worked together to make the idea a reality.


The advert looks like a lot of fun, what was the atmosphere on the set? Any funny stories?

The director was adamant that the ad should be fun. The wardrobe was intentionally colourful and we tried to get styling that suited the different members of the cast. We got ‘real’ people to be in the ad – people who knew each other from before the shoot – so there was already an authentic camaraderie. We played music while the the ad was being shot to build excitement and atmosphere. It was a long, hard day: some members of the cast were getting doused with water in the middle of a cold winter, dancers had to do punishing moves over and over again, but all in all the cast were brilliant.

There was a great deal of excitement and I think it shows in the final ad. The cast were aware that if just one of them got something wrong the entire take was ruined, and they were incredibly disciplined in giving 100% every time. This was good thing that counted in our favour, as we ended up using the very last take of the day.


Graffiti legend Mac 1 spray-painting the airbag wall

Was the entire ad shot in reverse or were there some portions that were shot normally?

The technical challenge was twofold: one, shoot the ad in reverse; two, shoot it in one continuous shot. We didn’t want any cutting between scenes, we wanted the audience to see that we had done it for real with no “trick photography”. Short answer: everything was filmed backwards in one take.

What were the challenges of shooting in reverse?

The first thing we did was get a stunt driver. The car had to be reversed in a perfectly straight line, at a specific speed, with the hazard lights and wipers activated at specific times, but with the driver looking straight ahead… Not easy!

Shooting in reverse, however, was not the biggest problem, it was getting it in one shot that was the issue. We needed to make sure that every take was 30 seconds – a couple of seconds too long and the whole shot would be unusable. We needed every member of the large cast to get their parts performed perfectly – if anyone missed their cue the entire shot would be ruined.

The legendary camera man

We also needed to reset the scene after every shot. All the glitter, confetti and streamers needed to be cleaned up; the cast in the water-throwing scene had to have their wardrobe dried and re-styled; the wall needed to be rebuilt; the car also needed to be cleaned and dried. These were time-consuming tasks.

Technically the camera needed to be protected from the dye and water, & the director of photography (camera man) had to move through the scene effortlessly. The result: as the camera was moving the length of the scene, so the lighting (to remain consistent) had to move along with the camera. Hence we had these huge lights on casters being pushed to keep up with the camera man. those are just some of the issues. getting a take we were happy with required enormous forethought by the director.

What do you feel that this ad expresses about the AWESOME Picanto?

The car is fun to drive. the ad needed to reflect that. the car also has awesome features – from the mp3 player to airbags – & the ad needed to show that. Especially for young people who may drive this car it’s not just to get from A-B. It’s about getting to somewhere fun. It’s about having fun getting there.

That sort of freedom is awesome. It’s an awesome car, it deserves an awesome ad.






Have a look at the behind-the-scenes video on Kia Motors South Africa’s YouTube channel or by using this URL

Remember that for more information about Kia, any of the vehicles in our range, to locate your nearest dealer or to use our unique live online chat facility, you can go to our website


Singh&sons is modelled on a family business. One that places craftsmanship, dedication and consideration above an impersonal approach to business. Singh (that’s Adeshia Singh) & Sons (that’s P-J Kensley & Roger Paulse) opened its doors in February 2006. well, we would have, but first we needed to paint the walls, erect a sign and get the kettle to work. We also had the small matter of finding some clients. We’ve managed to do this rather well. currently we work with brands such as KIA Motors, Distell (including Pongracz, Fleur du Cap, Zonnebloem, OBiKWA), Lindt, The Foschini Group (including Sportscene), Imperial (including Imperial Fleet Management), Liquid Capital Group (including LiquidCover) and Monster Energy Drinks. We also now have a coffee machine.

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